Next Door American Eatery on Keeping Catering Consistent

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, podcast host Valerie Killifer chats with Elyse Boule, the director of catering for casual “real food” restaurant Next Door American Eatery.

Boule joined the Next Door American Eatery team in 2018. Prior to Next Door American Eatery, Boule worked for over twenty years in event sales and operations. She credits her time working in trade shows for her attention to detail and commitment to developing and understanding process.

Boule advises start-ups and emerging brands building an off-premises strategy to do three things: listen to your customer, start slow and expand as you feel comfortable, and recognize that you can never be too deep in the details.

“Customers know what they want, and they’re extremely honest,” says Boule. “They love to be a part of things on the ground level… use those customer connections and ask for feedback. Hold focus groups before you start a new program. Test those ideas on customers and let them be a part of your solution.”

Many catering businesses fail because they try to expand too quickly. Customers expect consistency and conformity regardless of what they purchase or where they eat your product—and one bad experience can severely harm your brand.

When it comes to catering, “there are probably thirty points of failure from the time that an order comes in to the time that you deliver it to your customer,” adds Boule. “All of those little details in-between can add up to the best experience that a customer can ask for or the worst experience that could cause them to tell everyone not to use you.”

Next Door American Eatery makes sure to note its takeout, delivery, and catering options in “every piece of marketing that we have,” notes Boule. In the next few years, Boule aims to have off-premise sales represent 20 to 30 percent of the restaurant’s overall revenue.

Listen to the episode above to learn more about the restaurant’s investment in sustainable packaging, Boule’s thoughts on third party delivery, and how to develop a successful, scalable menu!

Produced by:

Darisha Beresford

Darisha Beresford

Production Manager / Sr. Producer

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Packaging is a Key Differentiator to Off-Premise

The wrong packaging can make or break your diner’s experience. With a growing demand for takeout, delivery, and catering, restaurant operators should embrace an increase in packaging costs. Something so little as a higher quality material, or something innovative like an indicator to let consumers know their food may have been tampered with in transit is critical.

On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, Valerie and Erle speak with Jennifer Crawford, director of off-premise sales at Fazoli’s System Management, an Italian quick-service restaurant, and Ernie Davis, National Account Manager for Accurate Box, a box manufacturing plant that produces high graphics boxes. The group discusses what is quickly becoming a true differentiator for brands as more and more product is going the way of takeout, catering, and delivery.

Be sure to stay tuned for the next season, and if you have questions for Erle or Valerie, please reach out to us at producer@foodabletv.com!

SHOW NOTES

8:43 - The Challenges of Corrugating to Franchisees

11:39 - The Challenges In The Delivery Channel and Packaging Innovations

16:02 - Fountain Drinks and Sabotaged Delivery

24:14 - Off-Premise 2.0

28:19 - Marketing Tips for Packaging

34:15 - What is Accurate Box?

:50 - Packaging Is Critical to Off-premise

2:36 - Welcoming Ernie Davis, and Jennifer Crawford

2:57 - Fazoli’s Off-premise Over the Years

5:35 - Strategies Regarding Packaging Costs

7:15 - Packaging Continues the Consumer Experience

 

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Synopsis by:

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


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Your Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Questions Answered

The off-premise paradigm shift continues to force restaurant operators to change their operations or risk being left behind. Erle Dardick, a foodservice takeout, delivery, and catering expert and CEO and Founder of Monkey Group, and Valerie Killifer, editor of Catering Insights both know a thing or two about helping multi-unit restaurant executives create successful off-premise revenue channels and have been sharing their knowledge in The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show podcast. The idea is to provide you, the operator, with strategies and insights that will help you leverage your brand and make your off-premise initiatives smart, fast, and profitable. As a restaurant operator, if you have not listened to The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, then you are missing out on the only podcast that is tackling the many questions and challenges in the off-premise space.

We are nearing the end of the first season, so in this episode, we decided to answer some of your questions. From food safety issues in the delivery channel to social media marketing, we cover the gambit of the most significant problems facing operators today.

Be sure to stay tuned for the next season, and if you have questions for Erle or Valerie, please reach out to us at producer@foodabletv.com!

SHOW NOTES

26:48 - Question 5: What will impact the future of your off-premise business more, automation or AI?

36:35 - Question 6: What is the biggest challenge to growing takeout and delivery sales?

39:06 - Question 7: How does takeout fit into off-premise and how can it best serve the customer?

50:27 - Question 8: Who are my biggest competitors in off-premise?

00:42 - Welcoming Paul Barron, CEO to the show.

01:19 - Question 1: When it comes to delivery, how do you protect your business from a food safety issue?

07:22 - Question 2: Is there a way to reduce the costs of these third-party services.

17:42 - Question 3: Do you trust Facebook or Linkedin as a real catering marketing solution

21:25 - Question 4: Should we incorporate a pick-up counter in our fine dining restaurant? Take out is
exceeding 11% of sales.

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A Ghost Restaurant Can Maximize Efficiencies and Increase Profits

The shift that has occurred in the takeout, delivery and catering space over the last few years is nothing short of monumental and how we run restaurants is fundamentally changing as a result. On this season on The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, we have covered in-depth the principles of leadership, staffing, differentiating your foodservice channels, and where to strategically invest in your off-premise program because the off-premise paradigm shift is more significant than the one saw in 2010 with fast casual.

The last major shift in the hospitality industry resulted in the creation of hundreds of fast casual brands in the mold of Chipotle and Panera Bread. One thing that we can credit to the fast casual segment is that it changed the look and model of restaurants forever with a focus on speed but also not willing to compromise on quality. Fast casual proved a model that some said was not possible and changed the landscape of the restaurant industry.

Today, off-premise driven by technology, and a generation that grew up on convenience is changing the restaurant model again, likely forever. By now, we have all heard the term ghost restaurants or virtual restaurants, and that this is the next big thing. The definition of a ghost restaurant depends on who you talk to but basically, it is defined as a restaurant that only offers delivery — no storefront. The savvy restaurants are using this model to their advantage, and more innovation around ghost restaurants is happening all the time.

Channel differentiation and maximizing efficiencies are key to generating profits with your off-premise channels. Assuming your restaurant is already built and a major renovation may be too costly, so how can you do it? Kitchen Podular, partner of Monkey Group, is an innovative company that builds customized modular kitchen solutions. These kitchen solutions can include a make-line for food preparation and a service window to divert off-premise orders away from the retail wait area, aka your very own ghost restaurant. Mike Manion, CEO of Kitchen Podular, joins Erle Dardick and Valerie Killifer to talk about the restaurants of the future and how they will operate.

Show Notes

15:26 - What does it mean to isolate production lines?
20:54 - How can existing restaurants use Kitchen Podular to fulfill the 5 pillars?
27:35 - The old restaurant model is getting turned on its head.

OO:46 - The supply chain is the key to keep up with market demand.
03:59 - Mike Manion, CEO of Kitchen Podular, welcome to the show!
09:41 - How will ghost kitchens or ghost restaurants impact off-premise operations?

 

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Centralized Services Can Increase Your Restaurant's Efficiency and As A Result Your Revenue

Centralized services is one of the 5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Takeout, Catering, and Delivery, and refers to the idea of minimizing the complexity of your sales, marketing, ordering, and even IT channels to one central point outside of the restaurant. This allows your restaurant operations to focus on what’s most important, the execution and presentation of your dishes.

For example in the takeout and catering channel, it is estimated that the average restaurant misses 6 - 12 calls a day that could be leading to additional sales and revenue. Enter Inktel and Voice Teleservices which provides centralized call center operations to make sure that your restaurant is not losing out on potential customers.

In this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, Valerie and Erle explore how a call center can help you maintain your customer relationships and increase sales, how centralizing these services can save you money by reallocating your labor, and how you can take your consumer back from the third-party service provider.

SHOW NOTES

00:44 - Call Centers and Centralized Services.
02:54 - Introductions to David Sawicki, President, Voice Teleservices and Jason Schlenker, Executive Vice President, Inktel.
08:57 - Third-Party Marketplaces are Beating the Foodservice Operator.
17:21 - What Are The Cost Savings Of Centralized Call Center Services?

21:50 - Amazon is Just Going To Buy It All!
25:27 - These Services Are Critical To Build, Maintain, and Protect Your Customers.
29:24 - How Can Independents Make Sure They Are Not Getting Left Behind?

 

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